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Cowboy Gear: Hat

Posted by on Jun 2, 2017

Stetson. Conk-case. Lid. War-bonnet. Ten-gallon.   “Don’t Mess with a cowboy’s hat.” The cowboy hat remains a universal image of the working cowboy. If you put one on your head, you’ll feel taller, perhaps a little more adventurous. In the fraction of a second, you suddenly become part of the golden age of the American west. John Batterson Stetson called his 1865 creation “Boss of the Plains”. Suited for hotter climates of the west, Stetson’s original design had a four inch crown, four inch flat brim, and cost $5 bucks.   Stetson learned the hat-making trade at an early age from his father. As a young man, he was diagnosed with consumption (tuberculosis), forcing him to leave his home and family in New Jersey for dryer climates. He relocated to the gold fields of Pikes Peak, Colorado where the idea came to him for a hat. As with everything a cowboy uses, even the lid on his head can become a valuable tool. With a smaller brim than the sombrero, Stetson made his design more practical for the western lifestyle and climate.  A water container for your horse Fan for campfire flames When swatted against a thigh, a useful tool to motivate stubborn livestock Shield a riders neck and face from sun, rain or...

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Cowboy Gear: Wild Rag

Posted by on May 26, 2017

Bandana. Neckerchief. Wipes. Wild Rag. “It’s the man that’s the cowhand, not the outfit he wears.” The history of cowboy gear can be traced back to the Spanish Vaquero, who without question, looked very fine sitting astride a horse. The clothes they wore added much to their mystique and Hollywood contributed their own spin to the image of the American cowboy. The tools of their trade and the garb they wore had more to do with the work at hand and the tools used by a man whose days were spent under an endless blue sky. The costume of cowboys and cowgirls have adapted because it is more applicable to the work they do rather than the latest fashion trends. The wild rag is an example.   From pirates who sailed the seas, to British colonists, and even highway robbers, the simple square of cotton or linen has been around for centuries. Men sitting horseback and wearing neckerchiefs can be seen in most every historical photo of the American West. Evolving from the handkerchief, or the gentleman’s cravat, colorful bandannas are not just for looking fancy. They are a necessary tool of the working cowboy.  Throughout the American west, this versatile piece of fabric has proved to serve many practical uses: Tourniquet Warmth in winter...

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Branding Crew Pea Salad

Posted by on May 19, 2017

It’s that time of year… Time to round up the new crop of Angus calves for branding and vaccines.  Cowboys and cowgirls are on their horses at sunrise, and the work is done by noon, way before the thermometer will reach its peak. The branding crews are quick and efficient, and the calves are returned to their momma’s side as soon as possible. No breaks until the work is done. When the Ranch Foreman says it’s time for lunch,...

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Calf on the ground!

Posted by on May 12, 2017

“Nobody ever drowned himself in sweat.”   Finally – it is spring! Birds singing, flower and garden planting, evening walks and vacation planning. If your livelihood has anything to do with a cattle ranch though, you best hold up because spring is when the real work begins. Cowmen spend all year turning pasture grasses into steaks to feed the public, and that beef has to be transported to where the meat processors and people are. The new additions to...

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